Children in Dell Rapids and across South Dakota have an opportunity to take part in the Waterford UPSTART program. South Dakota has been awarded more licenses to use the Waterford UPSTART program according to Dell Rapids Superintendent Dr. Summer Schultz. The registration link for the program is https://www.waterfordupstart.org/.
Dr. Schultz mentioned that the state of South Dakota doesn’t fund preschool, and the state has been awarded a federal EIR grant. With this grant preschool-aged kids have the ability to take part in this program for free.
“Dell Rapids has already gotten a good chunk of individuals signed up,” said Dr Schultz. “If you have a preschool-aged child, and that would be if their birthday was between September 2015 and September 2016, they would qualify for this free UPSTART program. The family would be able to get the device, so they would get an iPad to utilize the program on, they would get that subscription to the program, and then they would also get access to an instructional coach thatt would check in, that sort of thing.”
Families would have to commit to doing five sessions a week, with sessions being 50 minutes long.
“Even if kids are planning to go to a preschool in town should the health situation should allow it, they can do this to go along with that. And if for some reason a child is not able to get into preschool, the Waterford UPSTART program in other states where preschool hasn’t been as available has really shown to help students be prepared for kindergarten. We really want people to look into it,” said Dr. Schultz.
The program begins in August and runs through May.
“It is completely separate of the school. I’ve just worked very closely with this company and know that the results they have with these preschool kids and the UPSTART program is phenomenal,” Dr. Schultz added.
For the entire conversation with Dr. Schultz on the Waterford program, the interview is posted below. The conversation starts at the 2:52 mark and goes to the 6:45 mark in the video.